Purdue University is a public research university located in West Lafayette, Indiana with a student enrollment around 41,000 that was founded in 1869 after Lafayette businessman John Purdue donated money and land to establish a school focusing on science, technology, and agriculture.
Purdue’s mascot is the “Boilermakers” and not only is it the school’s mascot, but the students and alumni of the school are often referred to as “Boilermakers. The school got its name in 1891 after beating rival Wabash College of Crawfordsville, Indiana 44-0, the Crawford Daily Argus News led with the headline “Slaughter of Innocents: Wabash Snowed Completely Under by the Burly Boiler Makers from Purdue”
The school’s mascot is now known as the Boilermaker Special, which is a vehicle that looks like a 19th century steam engines that Boilermakers would build throughout the United States. However, the mascot you will see on the field come Saturday looks a tad bit different than a steam engine. Instead you will see Purdue Pete roaming the sidelines cheering on the fans of Purdue and creeping out many children in the process.
What You Need to Know About Purdue
Purdue’s Space Program > Alabama’s Football Program
How many of us grew up thinking that maybe one day we’d be able to achieve our life long dream of being an astronaut? Think about it, as a kid I can guarantee that you thought one day you’d get to walk on the moon, or find alien life on Mars. Well, Purdue University is the place where those kids go to make that dream a reality. Over 1/3 of ALL NASA manned space missions have had at least one Purdue graduate as a crew member. That stat is CRAZY.
Let me put this in prospective. There are 1,696 total players in the NFL. 53 of those players are currently from Alabama, meaning that one whole NFL team could currently be made up of players just from the University of Alabama. 28 teams in the NFL have at least one player who played football at Alabama.
You think that’s impressive? Let this sink in for second… Purdue is responsible for producing the first man to be launched into space (Gus Grissom) the first man to walk on the moon (Neil Armstrong) and the most recent man to go to the moon (Eugene Cernan).
Purdue is greater than Alabama.
There would be no popcorn without Purdue
How is that even possible you ask? Technically it’s not, but Purdue is the alma matter of everyone’s favorite popcorn inventor Orville Redenbacher. While we are all rooting for Purdue to lose, and lose big, can we just take a few seconds and thank Purdue? Without them, there would be no buttery, salt, and amazing popcorn to enjoy during your favorite movie or sporting event. Redenbacher is a graduate of the College of Agriculture, class of ’49.
Purdue Athletic Alumni: More impressive than you thought & more beautiful
Not only does Purdue host a list of impressive space alumni, the school is also famous for producing some pretty awesome sport alumni. Those include John Wooden, who is known for developing an extremely incredible pyramid of success, as well as winning 10 NCAA national championships at UCLA, Super Bowl winning and future HOF’er Drew Brees, former NFL QB Bob Greise, former NBA players Glenn Robinson, Stretch Murphy, Piggy Lambert, Brian Cardinal, Brad Miller, Super Bowl winning head coach Hank Stram, and Nascar driver Ryan Newman. Not only did Purdue produce a Super Bowl winning head coach, two Hall of Fame Quarterback’s and the greatest basketball mind of all time, they also are the alma matter of America’s Top Model Winner in 2013. What does that have to do with sports? Keith Carlos, a WR/RB for Purdue from 2009-2011, was drafted by Eagles in 2011 and played two years in the NFL. Only to retire and go on to win America’s biggest television modeling show. He is still an active model.
Other notable Purdue Alumni
–Jim Gaffigan – Comedian
–Brian Lamb – Creator of C-Span
–Ted Allen – Author, Journalist, Actor
–Gary Payton – Astronaut (Not “The Glove”)
–Matt Hammil – MMA Fighter
–Carl Landry – Former NBA player
–Hermain Cain – Politician
–Rod Woodson – Former NFL Player
Jacob Lane joined The Cardinal Connect in August of 2017 after previously writing for CardinalSports.com on the Rivals Network. Jacob covers anything and everything Louisville Cardinals. Follow him on Twitter @Jacob_Lane08